January 22

Matthew 4:18-23

“Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people.” vs. 23

According to Matthew John the Baptizer was like a one-trick pony. He preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins and people came to him at the Jordan River. Jesus, on the other hand, called ordinary people as disciples and then led them through Galilee as he preached, taught, and healed in the towns and villages. In essence he was taking them on a training mission, a year of internship as they learned the art of ministry. At first they just watched and listened. Only after some months of observation were they sent out on their own to proclaim good news to hungry ears. After Jesus’ death, they were the ones who brought the gospel to the whole world. In their example we see the parameters of our own mission. None of them ran for office or formed militia groups to overthrow governments. They had a three-fold calling: to teach the way of discipleship, to proclaim the good news of the kingdom, and to bring healing to hurting people. And that’s still the way it is for disciples of Christ. We are called to do it as individuals and as congregations, and we’ve been doing a superlative job! Teachers, preachers, and healers abound among us, and we’ve been a blessing to the entire world. The church is often criticized, sometimes rightfully so. Perhaps it’s time to start celebrating its successes!

Thought for the Day: What part of my mission have I done well?

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